Some out-of-this-world ‘World’ songs

I was trying to time this list to the mission of Discovery, the planned second-to-the-last flight of America’s space shuttles.

But alas, the launch of the shuttle has been delayed again, this time till the end of November at the earliest.

So, I’m going ahead anyway with my out-of-this-world “World” songs tribute.

Let’s blast off on a trip through quite a few musical (and, in some cases, overlapping) genres. (Feel free to add your “World” favorites in the Comment section below.)

Easy listening
Frank Sinatra’s “The World We Knew (Over and Over)”

• Jimmie Rodgers’ “The World I Used to Know”

• Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Two Different Worlds”

• Johnny Mathis’ “Small World” (from the Stephen Sondheim musical “Gypsy”)  

• Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”  

• Anita Bryant’s “My Little Corner of the World”

Pop and rock ’n’ roll
• Ricky Nelson’s “Young World”

• The New Seekers’ “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)”

• Peter and Gordon’s “A World Without Love”  

 “Wonderful World,” a three-time hit with Art Garfunkel (accompanied by James Taylor and Paul Simon),  the original Sam Cooke version and the British Invasion take by Herman’s Hermits 

• The Vogues’ “Five O’Clock World”

• Brenda Lee’s “My Whole World Is Falling Down”

• The Carpenters’ “Top of the World”

• War’s “The World Is a Ghetto”

• Jack Scott’s “What in the World’s Come Over You”

• Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now”

Rock
• R.E.M.’s “The End of the World As We Know It”

• Coldplay’s “When I Ruled the World”

• Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

Soul
• The Supremes’ “My World Is Empty Without You”

• Deon Jackson’s “Love Makes the World Go Round”

• David Ruffin’s “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)”

Country
• Miranda Lambert’s “That’s the Way That the World Goes Round,” featured Wednesday night on “The Country Music Association Awards” show, where she won three trophies.

• Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World”

• Two by the Tennessee Plowboy, Eddy Arnold: “Make the World Go Away” and “What’s He Doing in My World”

Unforgettable
We’ll end with two “earworms,” those songs — welcome or not — that get stuck in your head. Mr. Disney and his successors are responsible for two of the biggest — only one of them admittedly a “World” song: maybe the biggest earworm of them all, “It’s A Small World.”

The other, for the record, is “Be My Guest,” the Maurice Chevalier takeoff from Disney’s beautifully animated “Beauty and the Beast.”

(By the way, did you notice that’s two weeks in a row that my lists have mentioned Maurice Chevalier? What are the odds I can concoct three lists in a row that mention him? Very good, I must say, as you’ll see next week.)

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Patrick Lee-O'Halloran on 11/12/2010 - 09:45 am.

    FWIW, “That’s the Way that the World Goes ‘Round” is John Prine’s song, not Ms. Lambert’s.

  2. Submitted by Don Effenberger on 11/12/2010 - 11:02 am.

    Sorry for any confusion, but the reference in nearly every case is to the performer, not the songwriter.

Leave a Reply